Tuesday, March 17, 2015

UC Women who made a difference in the field of computing(4)

Judy Carlson (interviewed Jan 22, 2008)

Judy graduated from Mercy High School. She grew up as (what we call in Cincinnati) a West Sider. She told me that back in those days, your “future” was determined in the 8th grade based upon a test before entering high school. You could go into Home Ec, Teaching, Secretarial Studies, or college. She tested in the middle and thus qualified to be a secretary. Because of financial constraints she entered into UC’s University College which was a 2-year degree program. She started a job at Cincom as their first employee after the 3 original founders. She graduated from UC in 1969 with an associate degree in Secretarial Studies.

The business law and accounting courses she took at UC proved quite useful when she worked at Cincom. She continued her studies and got her bachelor’s from UC’s Evening College with a degree in history. Her father also graduated from UC at the same time as she did. In March of 1975 see was transferred to the Cincom Brussels office for nearly three years. She returned to the states at the end of 1977 and then another twist in her career and life occurred. At Cincom she decided to become a computer programmer and in her personal life, her father passed-away a few weeks after she returned. She overcame the challenges of learning to program and the loss of a loved one. She carried on and went on to learn COBOL. Her first program she wrote had typed *’s in column 8 of the punch card when it should have been in column 7. The joys of programming in the old punch card days, I remember it well.

She worked at Cincom’s first office on Victory Parkway which was just around the corner from the College of Applied Science. She was the first one in her UC class to get a job. She started in December before she graduated from UC. Tom Nies had contacted UC looking for a secretary. She was asked by one of professors if she would be interested in the interview. At the time she described herself as young, naive, and gum chewing. She was only 19 years old at the time as the interview and was very nervous at the interview. She first interviewed with Tom Richley during the week of exams. Her interview was held at Dante’s Restaurant and then later she interviewed with all three founders at Shipley’s. They offered her a job and drove her to their office to show her around. She had just recently gotten her driver’s license, but did not have a car. Her starting salary was about $1.60 which was considered pretty good back in 1968. She took a bus to the Cincom office on Victory Parkway and worked 6 days a week. She was the gal, Friday, who did it all. Her education at UC proved very beneficial and had well prepared her for her future job.

Her programming took her to San Francisco to write code using Cincom’s TOTAL database system. She ended up moving over to Cincom’s Ventures Division which produced TOTAL for non-IBM systems. She learned assembler code as part of this job. She worked on Wang, Honeywell, and NCR computers. She got very good at debugging. She also learned MANTIS which was Cincom’s 4th Generation Language. She also got very good at working in the Unix environment. At one point, she was responsible for the PC version MANTIS while in the Ventures group.

She was described by as the person who “civilized us” (1) by one of the founders. She went from being someone who was chewing gum to someone who could “chewed” the code with the best of them.


1. Courage, Creativity and Commitment: 25 Years in the Pursuit of Excellence; the Cincom Yearbook published by Cincom, 1993

From the Cincom Yearbook

Friday, March 6, 2015

UC Women who made a difference in the field of computing(3)

Martha Burks (interviewed January 28, 2008)

At the time of this interview Martha Burks had been retired from UC for two years and was living in Northside an area of Cincinnati that I was quite familiar with. A little more than six months later she passed from this world to next at the age of 63. Her obituary described her as someone who “was a spirited, loving individual whose determination to overcome adversity was an inspiration to her family, friends, and coworker.” That was so very true and so much more. Dennis Ryan (interviewed in 2006), was a very good friend of Martha’s and he first put me in touch with her. The first thing that I remember when I met her was her very infectious smile that helped me feel at ease during our short time together. At the time of this interview, she was living in the former Chase Elementary School that had been converted in condos and it was part of the Independent Living Options. The Independent Living Movement was started in 1972 as the Center for Independent Living and she was involved in this movement as well. This endeavor allowed her to eventually buy her own wheelchair-accessible residence.

She was highlighted in a Cincinnati Enquirer article in Deborah Kendrick’s Alive and Well column on September 29, 2002. At the time of the article her job title was Software Engineer with UCIT’s Core Application Services. She was born with cerebral palsy and yet she found her calling in being a computer geek. She graduated from Wright State University in 1984 and then worked at UC for 22 years as a programmer. She showed me her graduation picture with her parents and sister. I was a momentous occasion for them all. She was from Upton, Kentucky originally but, her family moved to Cincinnati and she attended Condon School (now Roselawn Condon) which is part of Cincinnati Public Schools.

While growing up, she would listen to the radio and particularly to NPR (National Public Radio) and kept hearing about going to college and physically handicapped person being able to support themselves and live independently. This became a dream of hers for which she was willing to put in the hard work to achieve. This was all before the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) became law. Her parents instilled in her the desire to fight for her equal rights and that of others. In 1977 she started at Wright State. It took her 7 years, but she was successful. She mentioned that a lot of “normal” students took six.


After graduation, she interviewed at UC with Ron Lake (interviewed 2007) and Tom Rank. One week later she was offered a job at UCCC (UC Computing Center). She was going on 40 years when she started at UC. Tom was the one who hired her and the person she first worked for. She said her parents were quite surprised when she got a her job at UC and quite proud of their daughter. She worked with an IMS database system and programmed in Normal (Software AG), MANTIS (a language I taught while at Cincom), COBOL, PL/1, and a host of other computing technologies. There were times when she was overlooked for promotion and she witness firsthand the glass ceiling. Eventually, she worked for Dennis Ryan who had the utmost respect for skills and for her as a person and a colleague. They both retired at the same time.

Martha's retirement with Dennis Ryan in the background

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

UC Women who made a difference in the field of computing(2)

Nancy Lorenzi (interviewed July 16, 2007)

At the time of this interview Nancy Lorenzi was the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Professor of Biomedical Informatics Clinical Professor in Nursing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Professor of Biomedical Informatics which I feels says a lot about both her computing ability and management ability. While at UC, she was both an adjunct professor of Information Systems and Clinical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. She obtained her AB from Youngstown State University, a MS from Case-Western Reserve University (Bob Herbold also graduated from here), a MA from the University of Louisville, and her PhD from UC in Organizational Behavior (1980). She had to key-punch in all of her data and run the jobs (SPSS) at night time in order to get computer time.

In 1984 she became the principle investigator for the Integrated Academic Information Management System Project (IAIMS). The document “University of Cincinnati Medical Center Plan for Integrated Academic Information Management System 2002-2007 (Published 3/02; revised 5/02) states that “The University of Cincinnati Medical Center spent much of the 1980s engaged in IAIMS, securing planning and modeling grants under Nancy Lorenzi, PhD. It failed to obtain an implementation grant largely because of inadequate technology and because informatics was too decentralized for coherent institutional effort.” Some of this was more political and the whole dynamics of the IAIMS program eventually changed. I mention this because when Arnold Spielberg (see the grandfather of ET) developed the first Point-of-Sale system back in 1954, he told me it failed because the technology was not advanced enough nor robust enough as his system had a mean-between-failure (MBF) of 8-10 hours. Some good ideas have to wait awhile before their potential can be fully realized.

In 2001 a decision was made to bring IAIMS to fruition at UC and even though Nancy had left UC she was asked back to consult on the project. Some of the people also involved in this project, that I had interviewed were: Ralph Brueggemann (Director of Systems Development and Maintenance, Academic Information Technology and Libraries), Dr. John Hutton (former Dean of the College of Medicine and a part-time student in our IT program), William K. Fant (PharmD, Assistant Dean for Clinical and External Affairs, Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy), J. Roger Guard (MLS, Assistant Senior Vice President, Medical Center Academic Information Technology and Libraries, and CIO, College of Medicine), and Dr. Alfred J. Tuchfarber (Director, Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research, and the Institute for Policy Research).

When I interviewed (via phone) Nancy, a friend and colleague of hers, Dr. John Steiner, was in my office. Both of them were from Pennsylvania. She went to Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio. While at Case-Western she got exposed to a lot of the different computing technologies (COBOL and FORTRAN) and found her passion of mixing computing with other disciplines particularly in the medical field. Her PhD combined sociology, psychology, and business examining the relationship between leadership and organizational growth in academic emergency medicine departments.

She got her job at UC in a somewhat unexpected way. She was working at the University of Louisville and applied for a position at UC to manage the medical library system. She got through the first interview just fine and was invited back for a second interview. Before the second interview took place she was privately told by an administrator before the actual interview that she was too young and too inexperienced to handle the job and that she would fail. That lite a fire under her and so when she went into the interview she spoke her mind and gave her assessment of how the job could be successfully executed. Librarians began to evolve from people who cataloged books to computer information specialists with many of them learning how to write computer applications and managing large database systems.

She was on the search committee that hired Jerry York who ran UC’s computer center before Robyn Render. He first was in charge of the medical center computing and that is where she got to know him. She also knew Bob Caster who headed up SWORCC (Southwest Ohio Regional Computing Center) at UC. She mentioned that Jerry York was looking for an email system and she implemented on of the first email systems using the DEC VAX computers that were prevalent at UC during that time.

Her husband, Robert C. Reilly, got his PhD in 1970 from UC and was quite the computer geek. Her husband live in the IBM world and he bought an Osborne Personal Computer (John Steiner had one as well). There was an Osborne Computer Club in Cincinnati and she remembered attending some of their meetings along with her husband and John. At UC she got to know Dr. Jeff Gordon (one of my former professors) who also went to Vanderbilt. She described him as her personal CIO because of his computing skills. UC was one of the first customers of LanVision Systems which is a health care information technology company founded in Cincinnati. The system allowed the medical center to scan in medical records.

She is a true visionary in the field of medical informatics.


Monday, March 2, 2015

UC Women who made a difference in the field of computing(1)

Helen Mueller Gigley (interviewed June 6, 2006)

Helen graduated from Walnut Hills High School (same high school as Viola Woodward (see UC’s first computer geek) and Steven Spielberg’s mother). Before I begin her story, I would like to talk about how I first learned about her. I was investigating the program to teach blind persons how to do computer programming that was led by Dr. Ted Sterling (another computing pioneer from UC) from the College of Medicine. At first I just had a name of one of the instructors as H. Mueller. I assumed that this person was someone either connected to the college or someone who was an older person, but never did I guess this was a young woman who was majoring in math and education at UC. What is even more strange, is that after I had her first name, I did not think I would ever find her since I assumed that she was likely married with a different last name.

As luck would have it, two events occurred that allowed me to find her. One of my colleagues handed me a 1964 UC Yearbook. Mostly, I was looking through it see if there was any reference to a computer or maybe a class as I knew it would still be considered a novelty back then. Instead, I found two pictures that got me wondering more about this person. First, I found a picture with caption "Ralph Murray, Director of the Placement Office, advises senior Helen Mueller on employment opportunities." OK, so this may be the same person that taught in the blind program, but not necessarily. The second picture was a picture of a couple with the caption of "This year’s staff romance featured Helen Mueller, Business Manager, and Paul Gigley, Exhange Manager." Paul was also the Drum Major in UC’s band. I wondered to myself, did they get married. She certainly was active at UC and so I began to think she could have been the H. Mueller instructor in Dr. Sterling’s program.

I felt that I had the right person, but a third piece of the puzzle needed to filled-in and that came when I interviewed one of the students, Jim Henry (will be covered in a later article), who had gone through the program. I asked Jim about the instructors he had during his training. He said one of them who had a very profound impact on him was Helen Gigley (he married her I thought to myself). Not only that, Jim had her contact information.

In 1964, Dr. Ted Sterling received a NSF grant to teach visually disabled persons how to develop computer applications (more on this later). Helen was hired as an instructor in the program. Back then a math degree helped quite a lot if you desired to get into computing of some sort. Students were taught how to write programs for an IBM 1401 Data Processing System and in braille which meant Helen had to pick up a whole new set of skills. She also had to learn Symbolic Programming System (SPS), Autocoder, and FORTRAN programming languages. She taught in the program for 2-years and left when it was moved to the University of Washington in St. Louis.


Helen moved to Massachusetts where she became one of the first high school computer science teachers (maybe the first woman) in Greenfield. She earned her master’s (1969) and her PhD (1982) in computer science from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She taught at the University of New Hampshire until 1986 and eventually found her way to the US Navy where she became the head of the Human Computer Interaction Laboratory at the Naval Research Laboratory and then the Program Manager at the Office of Naval Research. Her research interests spanned from artificial intelligence to aphasiology. She had very rich and rewarding career and it started out wanting to help others who were disadvantage due their perceived handicap to achieve their full potential.


This photo was part of an ad in the yearbook for Wm. Helm Moving and Storage Co.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

First computer in the Cincinnati - Tri-state and Midwest region

Cincinnati Enquirer Sunday, March 29, 1953 Giant Electronic "Brain" Slated For City by Jack Dudley (It would be another 5 years before UC obtained its first computer.)

The opening sentence says "Cincinnati goes on the map scientifically in May." The computer was an IBM 701 and was number 6 of 19 originally built. The monthly rental back then was ~$17,000. According to the IBM website -- http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/701/701_customers.html -- the computer was delivered on May 27. Dr. Herb Grosch was the first computer director at the GE-Evendale Aircraft Engines facility. Dr. Donald Shell (a UC alumni and developer of the Shell sort computer routine) spent most of his career at GE-Evendale and worked for Dr. Grosch. This was the most powerful commercial computer in the entire mid-west at the time. Dr. Grosch was quoted as saying that "our whole technicalogical civilization will be guided by this type of of machine which will be doing the detail or dog work."

William Bell wrote about the computer's usage here in a book entitled "A Management Guide to Electronic Computers", McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1957 (found on the web through Google books). He writes about using the computer to help in production-shop scheduling and operations research (UC's Lindner College of Business excels in this area). Stanley Rothman was mentioned as being the supervisor of the operations research unit the GE-Evendale.

Cincinnati Enquirer, Sunday, March 29, 1953 Article

Ronald Reagan and Dr. Herb Grosch from William Bell's book. Reagan was then working for the GE Theater radio and TV show.

GE-Evendale -- Computation Lab; this building is still in existence today; photo from William Bell's book


The grandfather of ET and the father of the modern Point-of-Sale system

Arnold Spielberg (interviewed Oct 10, 2006 in San Francisco during GE Computer Department Alumni gathering)

Arnold Spielberg graduated from Hughes High School which cross the street from UC at the southwest corner and located on Clifton Avenue where Calhoun and McMillan meet Clifton. I taught at Hughes first as substitute teacher and then for 1-year as a regular teacher while I worked on my master’s degree in education at UC. Arnold Spielberg has given several interviews over the years, but none of them have ever been done by someone who is from Cincinnati. 

When he talked about Cincinnati, I was able to relate and when he mentioned the Hughes vs Roger Bacon football rivalry, he noticed I was particularly interested because I went to Roger Bacon. If you want to learn more about what he did outside of his Cincinnati time see a list of interviews below. I will focus on his time in Cincinnati and at UC. His first wife, Leah Posner, graduated from Walnut Hills High School and so did his brother Russell. They were high school classmates of Viola Woodward who also graduated from UC and did computer programming on the ENIAC (see UC’s first computer geek).
  
Arnold Spielberg was born on February 6, 1917 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended Avondale Public School and then Hughes High School (1930-34). At Hughes he won an award for his science ability, but his overall GPA was not good enough to get a college scholarship. His parents were not well-to-do and his father had been sick at the time so he had to go to work. The summer between his junior and senior year in high school he work in Cynthiana, KY, which is a small town north of Lexington. His cousins had a small department store there. After graduating he went back down there and work for a total of seven years until 1941 when World War II started.

At Hughes he discovered his love for math and science. He also took Spanish, architectural drawing, and drafting. In those days, there was a boys’ homeroom and girls’ homeroom. Oatis Gates was the head of the homeroom who was well-liked by the students. He worked out with the gymnastic team and learn how to do tricks on the horizontal bar and other apparatus. He built up his upper body strength even built a horizontal bar for use when he lived in Kentucky. Two of his friends, Sid Patterson and Roger Walby(?), were the co-captains of the football team. Their chief rival was Roger Bacon and Hughes beat RB his senior year he told me with a satisfying smile. He went back to Hughes on two different occasions for his class reunion.

He was friends with Jake Schott (class of 1933) who was also a ham radio operator and later went on to become the Chief of Police in Cincinnati. He (treasurer) and Jake formed the radio club. Withrow High School had a glider club (a secondary glider that was towed the entire time) and the two schools did a project together were they put a receiver in one of the gliders to see if they could communicate with it. This experiment helped him later when he was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Base in Dayton. He learned how to shoot using a rifle that he borrowed from Jake. Later, Arnold bought a used Steven’s Walnut Hill Single Shot 22 Caliber rifle from an old hunter in Cynthiana which he had recently given to his son, Steven. This is the gun his son first had learned how to shot.

Arnold was also a ham radio operator (call sign of W8IDX) using a system he had built himself. He was more interested in electronics than working at his cousins’ department store. He had to change his call sign while living in Kentucky to W9AUM (Always Under Modulated). He also built a phone transmitter during that time. He learned the department store business which paid later in his life. He went from stock-boy to assistant manager. In 1940 he was transferred to a store in Richmond, KY where he served as a co-manager. He learned a lot about managing a business, skills that would serve him well later in life.

At the onset of WWII, he decided to enlist since he knew he would have been drafted anyway so he joined the Army Signal Corp. He enlisted at Fort Thomas, KY and after a week he was sent to Louisville and later to New Orleans at New Orleans Army-Air Force Base and the 422nd Signal Company. Part of his responsibilities was to teach Morse code to the new recruits who did not seem very interested in learning any of that until he started telling “dirty” stories and then suddenly their learning shot up. In May of 1942 he was sent off to what was then Karachi, India (now Pakistan) zigging and zagging on the way there. This was at the height of the German submarine attacks something that another UC Bearcat, Dr. Paul Herget, had a hand in preventing.

When he came back to the United States, he was stationed at Wright Field where his brother was also stationed. He was a master sergeant working on designing a radio receiver to help guide a bomb. He knew he wanted to engineer after his experiences in the war and his work at Wright. He did his freshman and sophomore years in one year. Keep in mind that he was an older student having graduated from high school in 1934 and after having served in the war he was quite mature. He and Leah were also married. They lived in Avondale in a two-family house. He would walk to UC or take the street car.

One of his professors was Dr. William Osterbrock whom he almost electrocuted by accident while tuning an amateur radio set. He did quite well at UC and was recognized for his academics and was elected to Eta Kappa Nu International Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society of the IEEE his pre-junior year, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society his junior year, and he won an electric engineering award. One of his co-ops was at the former Crosley Corporation. He did his senior thesis with Henry Federlin entitled “A General Purpose RF Sweep Signal Generator”. Arnold described Henry as an expert machinist and a “straight forward guy”. I was able to obtain a copy of this thesis thanks to Henry’s wife.

Mr. Spielberg was recognized by the IEEE in 2006 as a Computing Pioneer for his work on developing a computerized Point of Sale System while working for RCA. The system was tested in Cleveland, Ohio at the former Higbee's Department Store. Higbee’s was made famous in the movie “A Christmas Story” and now is the site of the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland. This citation reads “For recognition of contribution to real-time data acquisition and recording that significantly contributed to the definition of modern feedback and control processes.” Mr. Spielberg went on to work at General Electric where he developed some of their first computers and later for IBM, Scientific Data Systems, and ended his computing career with Burroughs Corp (which became Unisys).

Interviews:
An interview with Arnold Spielberg conducted by Anne Frantilla on June 23, 1987 at Mission Viejo, CA, Charles Babbage Institute Center for the History of Information Processing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis


An interview with Arnold Spielberg for the Rutgers Oral History Archives conducted by Sandra Stewart Holyoak and Shaun Illingworth, New Brunswick, NJ on May 12, 2006.

I also have copies of an audio interview that was done in March, 1988, but I am not sure who did the actual interview.

Footnote:
While at the GE Computer Department Alumni symposium in 2006, I met another UC Bearcat who also worked for GE and helped start the time-share industry in the 1960s. His name was Gerry Haller.

Arnold Meyer Spielberg and Henry Max Federlin, 1949; this picture was in their Senior Thesis paper

Arnold Spielber, 2006

Gerry Haller and Arnold Spielberg

Second from left is Arnold Spielberg, next to him is Charlie Bachman, 5th from left is Gerry Haller





Saturday, February 21, 2015

UC’s first computer geek was a woman

Viola Woodward (interviewed Feb 28, 2006 (phone) and again on Aug 1, 2007 at her residence)
Viola Woodward graduated from Walnut Hills High School (7-12 grades). Her parents were from Bond Hill which was a small community outside of Cincinnati (now part of the city). She was born in 1920.

Her father did not qualify for military service during WWI because of his eyes. He was an auditor and traffic manager and a member of Ohio state bar, but never practiced law. He worked for Tool and Steel in Elmwood. Her mother was a very good pianist. They lived across the street from the Bond Hill Elementary school. She went to Walnut Hills High School right after the school moved to its current location.

She had 3 siblings – 2 younger twin brothers (Stanley and George) and an older sister (Shirley). All of them were in the service during WWII. In her interview, she spent a fair amount time talking about her family particularly her brothers Stanley and George who was a doctor. Both brothers were also in the Air Force. Shirley has 4 children. Shirley worked in the keypunch department at Aberdeen.

She sang in the choir at Walnut Hills and continued singing in choirs her whole life. She was a very good bridge player as well. She was in a sorority and sang in the glee club at UC. UC was known as the streetcar college back then. Some of her classmates at Walnut Hills were Russ Spielberg, Steven Spielberg’s uncle, Leah Posner (Spielberg), Steven Spielberg’s mother, and Everett Yowell’s, Betsy, who was also a sorority sister at UC.

At UC started out planning to be a teacher, but soon discovered that was not her vocation. She earned her BS in Math in 1942 and her Teaching Certificate in 1943. At UC she was a liberal arts major with a concentration in math. There were only 2 other students in her class. At the end of her senior year she had to take a 3-day comprehensive exam in order to be granted her math degree. One of her classmates was Dave Lipsich who went on to become the head of the Math Department at UC. He passed away in 2012. Everett Yowell was another of her classmates.

She stayed one year after she graduated working on her teaching certificate. She taught math at Withrow for one year and then got a job teaching in Mason. Back then Mason had K-12 all in one school building and she taught 7-12 and was in charge of the school play. She quickly determined that she did not want to be a teacher and so her she joined the Navy during WWII. After her service was finished, she went to Stanford University where she completed her master’s in mathematics.

She did some work using the Marchant calculators (one of these calculators is on display at the Cincinnati Observatory). In order to get a master’s she was required to have a working knowledge in French and German. She knew French already and picked up German relatively quickly. Computers came just in time for her as she was not really sure what she was going to do after graduation.

At the urging of one of her professors from Stanford who told her that the ENIAC was being moved from the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in December, 1947, she applied for a job there and was hired. At Aberdeen, she recalled the young GIs who worked for her always wanting to know her age. She would joke with them that she planned on living until 125 and that she had a long way to go. She really was not that much older than them.

She helped form a choral group (I believe it was the Aberdeen Coral Society) because of her love of singing. This group sang with the Baltimore Symphony on a regular basis. The group celebrated its 50th anniversary around 2005. She sang the first 28 years of its existence.

She programmed on the ENIAC from 1947-48. The ENIAC was designed by John William Mauchly (whose father graduated from UC) and J. Presper Eckert. The ENIAC was followed by the EDVAC. While there, she had met John Maulchy, but she said everyone referred to him as Bill which was his middle name. She met John von Neumann as well.

She learned how to compute a trajectory and then she worked with the differential analyzer. Although she began her computer career programming the ENIAC, it was soon replaced by the EDVAC and ORDVAC. The ENIAC was a decimal-based machine, but the newer computers were digital. You had to hand check the results using test cases of the ENIAC in order to be sure the program was executing correctly. It could be time consuming process, but an important one all the same.

Aberdeen brought in the ORDVAC computer which was based on the ILLIAC which was developed out of the University of Illinois. She became the head of the ORDVAC section and was a senior programmer and systems analyst.

She programmed using punched cards and paper tape. Some of the big programs had to be broken-up into sections or parts in order to complete the entire job. She eventually became the head of the ORDVAC section. People programmed music on the ORDVAC based upon the frequency of the tubes. Occasionally, someone would accidently lean against the stop button on the ORDVAC computer which cause some delays in getting jobs completed in a timely manner. In 1974 she was of only one of four who was connected with ENIAC to still be at Aberdeen.

Because the EDVAC had a lot of problems, it was not used very much. She also worked on the BRLESC (Ballistic Research Laboratories Electronic Scientific Computer) computer using the FORAST programming language. When they moved to the CDC she retired. She retired in 1978. After 30 years of computer work, it was time to leave, but she actually continued doing some consulting work for them for the next 20 years.

She fondly remembered working for Dr. Paul Deitz who was in charge of the Ballistic Research Laboratory (BRL). She knew Barkley Fritz who wrote a paper entitled “The Women of ENIAC”, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 18, No. 3, 1996. She was a good friend of his. She also mentioned Marty Weik is the person who did the diagram of the descendants of the ENIAC poster.

She was born Aug 14, 1920 and passed away on September 30, 2010 at age 90 and was buried at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. A true computing pioneer.

See also -- 50 years of Army computing from ENIAC to MSRC

Thomas J. Bergin, editor; A record of a symposium and celebration, November 13 and 14, 1996, Aberdeen Proving Ground